High times: why TV is getting blazed on cannabis comedies
For years, marijuana was portrayed as either an evil gateway drug or as a prop to signify that the character using it was a hopeless, lazy slacker. While drug use on TV is not regulated by FCC rules, there are certain moral guidelines that networks were obliged to uphold, at least before 10pm. When the counter culture movement was thoroughly under way, the small screen dealt with it in one of three ways: ignoring it altogether, actively preaching against it or portraying it slyly, as exemplified by Scooby Doo’s perma-stoned heroes, Shaggy and Scooby, who made their TV debut long before Cheech and Chong showed up in the 70s. By the 1980s Miami Vice was tackling drugs and Nancy Reagan was making a bizarre cameo in Diff’rent Strokes to promote the Just Say No campaign. For a long time any show that wanted to be positive about the issue had to side-step it, like That 70s Show, where the characters got stoned without a single spliff being seen on screen.
As attitudes towards weed soften and with it being decriminalized – if not quite legalized – in many more US states, the depiction of marijuana on TV is changing. Now we see characters using it in the same way that you’d previously show characters having a drink; it’s a recreational activity that doesn’t have any moralizing attached to it. Characters in Girls, Broad City, Mr Robot and more smoke, without it leading to a worthy storyline about addiction or a descent into crime. HBO has set the bar high by turning web series High Maintenance into a hit show this month. Each episode tells a different story, featuring different characters, all linked by the unnamed man who delivers their weed.
The characters all smoke, but that’s not the main focus. The show is brilliantly unexpected – the first episode provides a wonderful subversion of the friendship between a gay man and a straight woman – but the weed is simply a device to explore these disparate characters. Netflix has also gotten in on the trend, ordering 20 episodes of Chuck Lorre’s Disjointed, a comedy starring Kathy Bates as the owner of an LA-based cannabis dispensary, and Kevin Smith, a man who knows a thing or two about writing stoner characters, has filmed a spec pilot about a weed dispensary in LA. Even NBC has been considering a weed show, with Parks and Recreation star Adam Scott’s Buds, a comedy set in a marijuana shop in Denver. Not all drugs are getting the comedy treatment – heroin and meth are still the reserve of heavy-going dramas – but TV producers have clearly loosened up when it comes to cannabis.
Elon Musk smokes weed, sips whiskey on a comedy show
Elon Musk sipped whiskey and smoked marijuana during a 2 1/2-hour podcast with California comedian Joe Rogan that touched upon everything from flame throwers and artificial intelligence to the end of the universe. Musk, 47, took one drag from what Rogan described as a joint containing tobacco mixed with marijuana, which is legal in California. A Tesla spokesperson in Germany wasn’t immediately available to comment. The spot on one of the most popular podcasts in the US marks Musk’s first appearance in a public forum since he stunned the financial world last month with his short-lived effort to take Tesla private. Along the way, Musk drew a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which already had been scrutinizing the public pronouncements he’s made regarding manufacturing goals and sales targets.
Tesla and its CEO are now also facing a litany of lawsuits claiming market manipulation, including one filed Thursday by Andrew Left, the founder of Citron Research and prominent short seller. The episode also raised concern about Musk’s health. The bewildering incidents have played out during a critical period for Tesla. The Palo Alto, California-based company faces concerns about its limited cash balance, maturing debt and struggle to steadily build high volumes of the Model 3 sedan, the first electric vehicle that Musk has attempted to mass-manufacture. Musk told Rogan that running Tesla is the hardest of his several endeavors.
Musk is also the founder of the tunneling startup Boring Co., plus Neuralink, which is developing brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers. Neuralink may have something interesting to announce in a few months, Musk told Rogan.
Comedy sketch imagines a sobriety test for stoners / Boing Boing
CBC Comedy sketch comedy series 22 Minutes humorously imagines what a pot sobriety test might look like, cookie dough and all. People make art because they have to, and there’s always a middle-man ready to take advantage of the oversupply of willing creators to grab our rights and pay us peanuts. No matter how diligent we are about managing them, there’s always a mountain of clutter waiting for us when we start our day. That’s why demand is high for experts who can keep these businesses online. Now, demand alone won’t get your foot in the door, as employers expect you to bring some certifications to the table that validate your skills.